American Field

Lynn Taylor Memorial Open All-Age and Carroll County Open Derby

Carroll County (Tenn.) Open Stakes

By Jim Atchison | Mar 17, 2020
Open All-Age Winners. From left front: Mark Haynes with Lester’s Storm Surge, Ike Todd with Miller’s Blindsider and Michelle Clark with Lester’s Shockwave. Behind: Judges Quintin Wiseman and Lynn Oxendine, Tommy Loid and Gary Lester.

Huntingdon, Tenn. — The Carroll County Field Trial Club hosted their Lynn Taylor Memorial Open All-Age and Carroll County Open Derby Stakes February 22-25 with 28 All-Age and 12 Derbies entered. First and third place in the All-Age competition were won by littermates Lester’s Storm Surge and Lester’s Shockwave, respectively, owned and handled by Gary Lester of Gracey, Ky. Placed second was Miller’s Blindsider, owned by Nick Berrong of Maryville, Tenn., and handled by Jamie Daniels.

Touch’s Breakaway Fred, owned by Eddie Sholar and Ted Dennard, won first in the Derby competition, while Touch’s Dancing Nancies, owned by Keith Wright, earned second. Both of those winners were handled by Ike Todd. Third place was awarded to Coldwater Paradise, owned by Gary McKibben and handled by Weldon Bennett.

Members of the club were most appreciative of the continuing sponsorship of Purina. Both their financial assistance and dog food awarded to the winners were significant and acknowledged during the gatherings in the clubhouse. Judges for both stakes, All-Age and Derby, were Quintin Wiseman of Hogansville, Ga., and Lynn Oxendine of Neosho, Mo. The pair made an excellent judicial team and their assistance and dedication to the task of judging were greatly appreciated.

The competitions were run on the first, second, and fourth days of the event. Those days were excellent for field trialing but rain on the third day prompted the decision that no running would be done that day. In spite of the terribly wet winter experienced in most of the Mid-South, the courses at Huntingdon were in excellent condition.

Because of the farming methods, soil type, and continuing commitment of David Williams, the venue for the trials has been improved annually each of the 26 years trials have been run there.


Lester’s Storm Surge produced two limb finds, the first at 45 and the second at 55, while running a big and to the front race in the 11th brace. The first was in the second course hills on the Vickers Farm and the other was at great distance on the hill typically hunted near the end of the Quiet Place Loop during the third hour. Lester required little assistance from his scout as his dog showed himself periodically and was never behind. Everything Storm Surge did during the hour was clean and pleasing.

Miller’s Blindsider earned second and Lester’s Shockwave placed third, braced together in the first brace of the stake, findings birds a total of seven times during the hour. Jamie Daniels flushed birds in front of Blindsider four times, at 23, 37, 43 and 55, and stood with him again while he backed a find of his bracemate at 27. Nick Berrong was in the saddle to admire his dog’s performance. Blindsider used the course to its fullest, looked pretty both running and standing pointed, and impressed his admirers with a strong finish.

Lester’s Shockwave ran an excellent race and produced birds for Gary Lester at 27, 40 and 53. He looked really nice each time he stood and his appearance was coupled with strength and stamina which were obvious.


Coldwater Odyssey, handled by Weldon Bennett for Andrew and Debra Agnew, and Whippoorwill Vette, handled by Larry Huffman for Earl Connolly, competed in the second brace. Both dogs were picked up by their handlers before the end of the hour.

Dominator’s Rebel Patch, owned by Nick Berrong and handled by Jamie Daniels, paired with Whippoorwill Mayhem, owned by Ric Peterson and handled by Larry Huffman. Again, neither dog finished the hour as both owners elected to pick up early.

After lunch on Saturday S F Bandwagon, owned by Larry Smith and handled by Larry Huffman, was loosed with S F Fullcolor, owned by Jack Montgomery and Traci Hammond and handled by Steve Hurdle. Fullcolor had a nice find at 26 on the east side of the large cotton field on the Miles Farm. He finished the hour but had no additional birds. Bandwagon found no birds and Huffman picked him up before the full 60 minutes lapsed.

Larry Huffman had Whippoorwill Wild Assault, owned by Jim and Stephanie Bickers. Weldon Bennett had Coldwater Spectre, owned and scouted by Gary McKibben. Huffman picked up Wild Assault at the half. Spectre ran well throughout the hour, growing stronger as time progressed, but he found no birds.

Brace No. 6 on Saturday had Ransom’s Jack Flash, owned by Rachel Blackwell and Doug Arthur, paired with Stash the Cash, handled by Gary Lester for owners David Thompson and Tommy Loid. Stash the Cash had two finds while circling the Quiet Place Loop. Those were at 22 and 26. He then finished the hour well. Jack Flash had no birds but ran the entire hour producing an exceptionally big front running race.

Whippoorwill Justified and Miller’s White Reign started the morning on Sunday with Justified handled by Larry Huffman for Ronnie Spears and Ric Peterson, owner, handling White Reign. Justified finished the hour with a really strong ground race but produced no birds. White Reign ran a good, forward race and had a find at 29 in the southeast corner of the large cotton field on the Miles Farm.

In brace No. 8, Michael Shears handled Boxwood Vortex and Ric Peterson handled Superstition’s Final Touch. Both men own the dogs they handled. Shears asked for his retrieval unit early in the hour. Final Touch committed an error while on birds and was picked up. The early end of brace No. 8 caused brace No. 9 to start at the double gates on the Green Allen Springs Road.

Game Bo, owned by Dr. Fred Corder and handled by Weldon Bennett, and Nosam’s Sweet Water, owned by Jeff Busby and handled by Larry Huffman. Game Bo had found no birds in the first 46 minutes of the hour and Bennett picked him up. Sweet Water finished the hour but found no birds.

Larry Huffman had S F Stetson for owner Larry Smith. Stetson had an unproductive at 12, a nice find atop the hill overlooking the Sandy River Bottom, and then another unproductive at 51. Huffman thanked the judges and put the dog into his harness.

Meadowwoods Matt Dillon was braced with the winner, Lester’s Storm Surge. Matt Dillon was handled by Matt Cochran for Ric Peterson and completed the hour but found no birds.

Brace No. 12, the last one ran on Sunday, had Las Animas Hombre, handled by Larry Huffman for Dale Bush, loosed with the new National Champion, Miller’s Speed Dial, handled by Gary Lester. Hombre ran throughout the hour but found no birds. Speed Dial finished the hour having a find at 22 and an unproductive later in the hour.

After laying off all day Monday because of rain which was light at times and extremely heavy at others, the running of the two remaining All-Age braces and the 12 Derbies resumed at 8:00 a. m. on Tuesday.

Hendrix’s Touch Up, co-owned by Guy and Burke Hendrix, handled by Burke, made a commendable effort but had only an unproductive which came at pickup time.

Cocklebur King Tut, owned and handled by Bubba Spencer, was braced with Hendrix’s Copperline, handled by Burke Hendrix and co-owned with Guy Hendrix. Each dog was credited with one find. King Tut had birds at 19 and Copperline had them at 29. At the end of the brace, the first Derbies were cast and that stake started immediately.

Huntingdon, Tenn., February 22

Judges: Lynn Oxendine and Quintin Wiseman


28 Pointers

1st—LESTER’S STORM SURGE, 1681624, male, by Ransom—Beane’s Line Dancer. Gary Lester, owner and handler.

2d—MILLER’S BLINDSIDER, 1674983, male, by Just Irresistible—Miller’s Bring The Heat. Nick Berrong, owner; Jamie Daniels, handler.

3d—LESTER’S SHOCKWAVE, 1681623, male, by Ransom—Beane’s Line Dancer. Gary Lester, owner and handler.


Touch’s Breakaway Fred, owned by Eddie Sholar and Ted Dennard and handled by Ike Todd, won first in the Derby competition. Fred had no birds in his quest, but his youthfulness and fresh appearance, which was coupled with an impressive ground race, earned the win. He was powerful on the 30-minute course extending from grain bins on the Miles Farm to the cabin at the end of the first hour course. His handling of the east perimeter of the Sandy River bottom field, at about 20, may have secured the judges’ decision.

Touch’s Dancing Nancies, owned by Keith Wright and also handled by Ike Todd, placed second. She had birds at 10 in the first brace, standing in a divided find with her bracemate. During the flushing effort the bracemate jumped forward, creating a distraction that might have easily caused her to move, but she exercised great self-control and held perfectly. That action and her performance throughout the 30-minute heat earned her the placement.

Coldwater Paradise, owned by Gary McKibben and handled by Weldon Bennett, was third. She had one find while circling the Quiet Place Loop and moved some during the flush, but the infraction was deemed pardonable for a Derby. She then finished the half hour well for Bennett.

OPEN DERBY — 12 Pointers

1st—TOUCH’S BREAKAWAY FRED, 1680750, male, by Touch’s Mega Mike—Touch’s American Baby. Eddie Sholar & Ted Dennard, owners; Ike Todd, handler.

2d—TOUCH’S DANCING NANCIES, 1680402, female, by Touch’s Big Whiskey—Blackhawk’s Sunflower. Keith Wright, owner; Ike Todd, handler.

3d—COLDWATER PARADISE, 1684062, female, by Coldwater Spectre—Coldwater Belle. Gary McKibben, owner; Weldon Bennett, handler.


There is no membership roster or dues schedule for the Carroll County Club. If you want to consider yourself a member, then you are a member. Some members work year-round and some come together for a few days each time a trial is being run, but the method works, as the club remains strong and vibrant.

David and Angie Williams are there constantly, 12 months a year. They were greatly missed during these stakes as David was home recovering from a broken ankle sustained in a horse accident. He came only for dinner one night. Angie came when she was able but had lots going on. Weldon Bennett and Phillip Barnett live nearby and are frequently on the grounds, willing to help when needed. Gary McKibben lives in Mississippi and works in Memphis but does a great job as secretary and treasurer of the club. He takes care of the paperwork and all the arrangements that precede and follow a trial.

Then many worked together as the date for the trial approached. Phillip Barnett, Danny Stanfill, and Richard Simmons usually gathered to clean the clubhouse. Jim and Charlotte Atchison bought the groceries, stocked the clubhouse and prepared the lunches. Michelle Clark and Angie Williams helped serve and clean. Phillip Barnett, Gary McKibben, and Michelle Clark marshalled the courses. Danny Stanfill, Jimmy Smith, and Richard Simmons manned the dog wagon. Steve Barnett came in and grilled pork butts, chicken quarters, bologna, and thick pork chops for dinners on Saturday and Sunday night. On those nights Evelyn Hall prepared all the sides and desserts for the meals.

Lynn Taylor’s influence continues to remain as the standard which the Carroll County Field Trial Club strives to maintain. Those of us who hustle the entire time we are there and leave exhausted remind ourselves that we are trying to continue to do it the way Lynn would have wanted us to.     J. A.

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